Many of you would agree with the fact that there is no hardship that shakes up our lives more than a breakup. We build a relationship we believed was solid, we work on it, hope for the best and yet, here we are, dealing with emotions we hoped would never be part of our reality.
When we reach the dead end of a relationship, we sometimes encounter unbearable amounts of sadness, grief, pain and anger, and finding even bare minimum of motivation to move on after a breakup can be really hard.
This is a natural reaction but it is also an overwhelming experience, and it can put other aspects of our lives on hold, as naturally we need some time to process what happened in order to deal with the break in a healthy way. The problem we encounter here, however, is our reality. No matter what we are going through, life does go on and we must adjust. Stay productive, being efficient and focused when dealing with mundane tasks becomes especially difficult, and this can make us feel even more out of place and emphasise all those negative emotions, directing them inwards. So, how to come out on top after a breakup ? How to deal with all the hurt it causes?
Here is the good news: there are some proven ways which can help you deal with being unproductive, and they work in a healthy way, without suppressing how you feel.
1. Own how you feel and accept your emotions
When dealing with negative emotions caused by breakup, ignoring our own feelings happens to be a common theme for many. We rely on emotional discipline and force ourselves into doing things that need to be done. While emotional discipline is admirable and a sign of maturity, when going through hardships such as breakup, it can suppress emotions and keep us productive for only a limited period of time.
This creates the illusion that we have got things under control, but as time passes productiveness will decrease and levels of dissatisfaction will go up. Pursuing mundane tasks appears to keep us on track , but this can do more harm than good, as emotions will pile up and eventually come to the surface one way or the other.
We can think of emotions as little toddlers who need our nourishment and acceptance, which is why discipline at all costs doesn’t work. Our emotions, both good and bad, are part of us and need to be accepted in order to help us heal and grow as individuals. Sweeping them under the carpet leads to abrupt and explosive outburst of emotion and can spill into the professional arena as well. In other words, we can’t ignore how we feel forever and this level of productiveness can’t last forever. This is why it is important to own our feelings and acknowledge them in order to deal with all our daily tasks. Always remember, being sad is ok.
2. Acknowledge that you are doing the best you can (because you are)
Paradoxical as it may sound, sometimes we forget that we are going through the hardship of grieving for a failed relationship. The biggest evidence for this is the fact that we expect ourselves to operate at the same pace as usual. We expect top efficiency and the same results at all cost, forgetting that we are now dealing with something major, something that does influence our day a great deal. We are not our old super-productive selves when going through a breakup and that is absolutely fine. It’s what makes us human.
Instead of cultivating self-defeating attitudes we must now learn to take it easy and be gentle with ourselves, because we do deserve it and we do need it, more than ever. Acknowledging that this is just a period that will pass is just the first step. One of the best ways to nourish oneself is to give ourselves a lot of little pep talks and praise for all the little things achieved during this period. After all, we are giving the best of our efforts at the precise moment, considering how we feel and what we are going through, and this is not something to be ignored. It is a brave thing to do, so cherish every little step made, every effort to be productive.
3. Organise your day to bring balance back
Being in post-breakup state, it is not unusual to experience intense side-effects , such as disorientation, feeling out of place and lack of focus , which can make simple everyday tasks seem harder than usual and keep us off balance. We ask ourselves questions like how to concentrate on studies after a breakup or should I go to work after a breakup?
This is where some discipline can actually come in quite handy. While too much emotional discipline is not the best option for increasing productiveness in the long run, basic organisational skills and practical discipline can help us function a great deal when experiencing something as disorienting as breakup .
Since our energy levels are different now and our thoughts directed towards what we are going through emotionally, it is important to focus on one thing at a time and list simple priorities without bombarding ourselves with too many tasks, as it will leave us overwhelmed. The little energy we have in such circumstances must be used wisely.
4. Maximize self-care (because you need it)
When talking about balance, there is one thing that must never be excluded from our bringing back the balance routine – the very basic self care needed in times of emotional hardship. Strangely enough, all the negative emotions caused by a breakup we experience make it hard to take care of ourselves on a very basic level when we need self-care the most. Somehow, we tend to overindulge or not indulge at all when it comes to sleeping, eating and taking care of our body and mind. We sleep too much or don’t sleep enough, overeat or completely lose our appetite, and naturally, find it hard to function and even harder to be productive. To stay productive, we must stay healthy.
5. Introduce yourself to healthy distractions
Who knew there are such things as healthy distractions, right? These are not just any distractions, but the kind that are here to make you feel better and help you reconnect. There is an unwritten rule out there which says What you focus on, expands and breakup really makes it hard to focus on pretty much anything. To get out of the vicious circle of over thinking, over analysing and the general lack of focus we are experiencing, we must distract ourselves with new stimuli, which will still help us stay present and in tune with all the negative emotions we are feeling. So, let’s make what we focus on worth expanding, so it helps us heal and function better.
It has been proven that trying new things has therapeutic effects. When trying new things, we teach our brain to rewire and it unintentionally focuses on new stimuli, because this naturally requires more focus and awakens the mind.
This is why starting a new hobby which helps you improve your relationship with your body, mind and soul can be a great thing and there are so many hobbies to do after a breakup. This can be a physical activity, volunteering for a cause you care about, or simply getting creative and joining that pottery course you’ve always been interested in. What is important here is to find an activity that doesn’t demand too much from you but nourishes and awakens you instead. Wisely chosen activity increases your general productiveness, as it brings out the feeling of being useful and this will remind the mind that it still can be productive.
6. Counsel yourself: Know that you are about to grow
No matter how hard some experiences may seem and some emotions hard to handle, it is important to remind ourselves that everything in our lives can teach us something , help us grow and improve. It is always a matter of perspective. We can choose to dwell on breakup, or we can accept that it happened and accept all the difficulties it puts us through, including finding it hard to function and dealing with simple tasks we encounter.
Instead of over analysing, bringing the focus back to self-improvement and healing can become the biggest aid when surviving the breakup. One of the greatest things is that you don’t have to do it alone, as there are many others like you who are struggling with breakup and everything it brings. Breakup is one of the most stressful events we can experience, and fortunately there are support platforms out there, like Heartbreak Triage which can help you with what you are going through. HT is dedicated to healing and helping individuals go through the painful experience of breakup, restoring self-confidence and bringing back one’s sense of self.
You can find support on your healing journey on heartbreaktriage.com or get a free sample of one of HT’s healing sound frequencies and combine it with your own strengths and your own self-made support programme. Meditate, journal how you feel, reflect and heal. Soothe your broken heart. There are so many healthy ways to cope with what you are going through, so when you wonder how to keep yourself busy after a breakup always acknowledge one thing: just like a physical wound, your heart needs healing as well. Feel free to encourage yourself to use all the helping tools you have at your disposal and know you are just about to grow.